Online Text for 'Seeking A Sanctuary'

Discussion/Chapter Outlines

Video of Forum Discussion

First Meeting - Friday, February 01, 2008
Part I (20 min)
Part II (30 min)

Second Meeting - Friday, February 15, 2008
Full Video

Who Are Seventh-day Adventists?

Pres. Jan Paulsen on Bloomberg TV

18 February 2008

Care for People

When asked about the church's future goals, Paulsen said,
"My goal for the church is that we become more effective in communicating not only ideas, but care for people, so that they may discover that Seventh-day Adventists are good people to get to know."

An Essay on the Taxonomy of Doctrines

Doctrines are teachings, and anything taught is a doctrine. But the word is most familiar in a religious context, referring to the teachings of a religious leader or community.

Not all doctrines are of the same kind. They differ from one another in what they refer to, in whether or not they can be empirically verified,in their status, and in many other ways. Since awareness of these differences may help us construct or examine doctrines, this paper presents a preliminary taxonomy of the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I will refer also to other religious communities for illustration and comparison. Every set of doctrines can be classified in several ways--some binary, others with multiple categories. I have suggested nine such ways.

1. Halakah/Haggadah. This binary classification is one of the oldest, and it is the primary classification used in Judaism. Halakah is law-torah, while haggadah is story-torah. Halakah refers to the legal material in Scripture and tradition; and haggadah is everything else, all nonlegal material. Corresponding to these categories are two pairs of English words that similarly alliterate: behavior and belief, and law and lore.

In Judaism, halakah is considered far more important than haggadah.Orthopraxy (right practice) rates above orthodoxy (right beliefs)in the sense of correct opinion. Persons can be good Jews and believe almost anything, provided . . .

(Read Full Post At Adventist Today)

(8th-Day) Adventist Futurism: A Manifesto

  1. Adventist Futurism builds on 7th-Day Adventism. In some ways it is a continuation of the original movement. In others it is the next phase or development. All of the richness and history of 7th-Day Adventism is admired, cherished and built upon. Some may see this as a heretical development. Some already think the same of progressive Adventism as well as Postmodern Adventism. Imagine how Methodists and other proto-Adventist influences must have felt when 7th-Day Adventism grew out of those movements.
  2. Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior, is as important as He ever was in Proto-Adventist Futurism (7th-Day Adventism.) Additionally, all the 28 fundamentals are respected and cherished however confining they may appear to some. In some ways, the principles of Adventist Futurism are a virtual 29th fundamental. If a 28th has been added in the recent pass, no doubt one day a 29th and a 30th may also be added.
  3. Emphasis is still on present truth . . .

Patty Cabrera: Why am I still Adventist?

We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve walked down many roads, sometimes holding hands and sometimes not. As many friends often do—good friends, even best friends—occasionally we unintentionally hurt each other by mistaking selfishness for good intentions. But in a rich friendship, more important than the hurts we experience together are the good and joy­ful things. And it is because of the “good stuff” that we remain friends. It is why we don’t give up on each other in the bad times, why we don’t trade in our friendship for an­other.

Of course there are other potentially good “friends” out there—Seventh-day Adventism is one of many forward think­ing denomination . . .

(Read Full Post At Spectrum Magazine Blog)

Richard Rice Discusses Open Theism

More than twenty years following the publication of his book “The Openness of God,” which named and launched a new school of Christian thought, Richard Rice profiled its primary themes for several dozen bright and lively university students. They were the guests on Sabbath Eve, November 9, of Julius and Iris Nam, and their sons Sherwin and Ansel, in Loma Linda, California. Trisha Famisaran moderated the discussion. Perhaps because of my interest in process theology, I was also invited to participate. Iris and a few others prepared the meal that was eagerly enjoyed by all!

Richard, Julius and I teach in the Loma Linda University School of Religion, respectively in the specialties of theology, history and ethics. Trisha, a graduate of . . .

(Read Full Post At Spectrum Magazine Blog)

Who Will Reinvent Adventism? - Spectrum Blog Post

“Let us now lay down the welcome mat for visionaries. Let pastors and older members and church leaders lay it down. Let the welcome extend to every kind and color of Adventist. Let it extend to anyone who cares enough about the Church to venture forth with a fresh idea. Let doctrinal hairsplitting, together with distrust and suspicion, come to a halt.”

(Read the Full Post At Spectrum Magazine Blog)

How Shall We Regard Ellen White?

How Shall We Regard Ellen White?: A Review of "The Red Books: Our Search for Ellen White"

Did you ever hear the tune, "What do you do with a drunken sailor?" I'm not sure just how this old English chantey made it into the musical canon of my conservative Adventist childhood. But it's there - and to my great surprise, it recently flashed across my mental screen as I was driving home from a performance of the eagerly awaited "Red Books" at Loma Linda University Church. Perhaps it was the way in which Ellen White was caricatured; perhaps it was the still ringing question - "What do we do with Ellen White?" - that started me humming the tune. But there it was...with suddenly updated lyrics: "What do you do with a sullied prophet? "Well, unlike the drunken sailor, you can't just "put 'er in a long boat til she's sober"... can you? It's a bit more complicated with prophets and prophetic writings, more like putting Humpty Dumpty together again.

"Red Books: Our Search for Ellen White" provokes and stimulates, but proposes no satisfactory resolution of the question - "How shall we regard Ellen White?" Those who attend the play, anticipating a Norman Rockwell picture of a revered Adventist pioneer, will be disappointed. Unlike the advance billing, which hints at a bucolic stroll down memory lane, the actual production is for "mature" Adventists. It is, as the title suggests, more about us than about Ellen White. She is the central character, but not . . .

(Read Full Article At AdventistToday)

Bull’s and Lockhart’s Challenge to Adventist Progressives

Authors of Seeking a Sanctuary argue that a theology with clear boundaries holds the Adventist Church together.

Seeking a Sanctuary, a highly detailed sociological study of American Adventism by Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, was the focus of the Adventist Forums Conference, held Sept. 28-30 in Santa Rosa, California.

Seeking a Sanctuary sustains a consistent thesis throughout 500 pages of impeccable research, arguing that Seventh-day Adventism, by withdrawing from American culture and opposing American values, paradoxically fulfills the American dream. Most controversially, its authors maintain that Adventism has not really made the transition from sect to denomination. While not Adventists themselves, Bull and Lockhart demonstrated a clear affection for the church they have chosen to study.

Lockhart started the conversation by describing what he sees as the “Golden Age” of Seventh-day Adventism, the fundamentalist era of the 1920s-1950s. He argues that the books published, institutions formed, and media outlets started in this era have . . .

(Read Full Article At AdventistToday)

15 February 2008

Discussion Two: Adventist Culture

February 15, 2008 Discussion Questions:

  • To what degree is Adventist identity rooted in the lifestyle that the church promotes, as opposed to the doctrines that the church teaches?
  • What do you believe is the current trend regarding the Adventist view of sexuality?
  • What role do Adventists have in politics, if any?
  • How does the Adventist church relate to other denominations?
  • What is the significance of the Adventist Church's focus on time instead of space?
  • How has the church related to the arts, both in the world and in the church?

26 January 2008

Discussion One: "What Is An Adventist?"

February 01, 2008 Discussion Questions

Some questions to ponder:
  • What does is mean to be a Seventh-day Adventist?
  • On what basis do you (or do you not) consider yourself a Seventh-day Adventist?
  • What is Truth to Adventists and how is it ascertianed?
  • Can the meaning of the Bible be acurately and adequately grasped through reason, and will Spirit-led believers consistently arrive at the same conclusions?